Do you have health insurance? Freelance writers often have difficulty figuring out how to navigate the waters when it comes to this important subject. Medical expenses can add up quickly and you don’t want to be caught without at least some protection. Unfortunately, there aren’t many good options for most of us at this point in time.
I have a policy that covers me in case of emergency, but as I get older I am going to need to look at more comprehensive options. Here is what I can tell you if you are looking into this for the first time:
- If you can get coverage through a spouse (or partner in some states), this is probably the best way to go.
- If you are a recent college graduate, check with your alumni association and see if they have any health insurance options.
- If you are making the jump from part-time to full-time writer, see what the COBRA options are for extending your insurance. This can be expensive, but it is an option for continued care.
- Consider an insurance plan with a high deductible. The monthly payments are typically lower, but you still have some coverage.
- Check with your Chamber of Commerce and see if they have any advice for you.
- Look into various associations for writers and other freelance professionals. The Authors Guild has plans for those in New York and Massachusetts and I recall both MediaBistro and the American Society of Journalists and Authors as having health insurance plans as well. You can also check out the National Writers Association and I”m sure there are others out there, so take a look and see if their plans are right for you. They require membership, and some are not available for all of the US.
- Check out resources such as RXAssist which can help you find free or low-cost medications, or ask the pharmacist if your medication is available in a generic which will lower the price.
The face of healthcare is changing, but for now, freelance writers don’t have a lot of good options. Still, some coverage is better than none, and there are some places that you can look. Take a little time to investigate, and if you find something worth sharing–please do!